Wikipedia wins its battle against censorship in Turkey

Turkey violated citizens’ rights by banning Wikipedia, says high court
Marc DeAngelis
M. DeAngelis|12.26.19

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Marc DeAngelis
December 26th, 2019
tomch via Getty Images
tomch via Getty Images

Two years ago, Turkey banned Wikipedia after the site refused to remove content tying the country to terrorist groups. That decision was reversed today in the nation's highest court, which called the ruling a violation of freedom of expression, and ordered the site to be unblocked. The timeframe isn't clear, but it's likely that Turkish citizens will soon be able to access the community-powered encyclopedia.

Turkey censored Wikipedia in April 2017, leveraging a law that allows it to ban any website that is deemed a national security threat. Wikimedia, the site's parent company, swiftly took action, but lost its push to reverse the court's decision. The community-driven website has remained inaccessible to Turkish citizens ever since.

The ruling was finally reversed by Turkey's Constitutional Court, which is the country's highest court. Its decision is a win for both Turkish citizens and Wikipedia itself. The website took a firm stance against censorship, refusing Turkey's request to remove content that the government found objectionable. It may have taken several years, but the organization came out victorious while sticking to its ideals.

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